Let Me Sum Up

DISD needs to spend the summer in detention with Mr. Vernon. Plus: Me!

DISD needs to spend the summer in detention with Mr. Vernon. Plus: Me!

It’s the Friday 5, that time when we are amazed at how easy it is to find four decent items to talk about and how impossible it is to find the fifth. This week: a solution!

1. As we hit summer break, what to do about DISD?
Although things are looking good for the district — $51 million more for schools is a good thing, despite what FOX News tells you — things aren’t getting better for Mike Miles. The latest problem, an exec leaving because he’s about to be indicted for a scandal in another city, could have been avoided. 

I remember when that guy was hired. Miles made the decision and only then told other staff about it. The first reaction by said staffers was, AYFKM? The guy had acknowledged scandals in Baltimore that mirrored past problems here. What were you thinking, Mike? That said, staff lined up and put the best face on it they could.

Point being … who I am I kidding. I don’t even know anymore. DISD is a mess. It’s a mess because, as Jim Schutze said, you can’t just keep firing the super. He may be arrogant and bullheaded, but that’s what you said you wanted. So we do what we can do. We must hold the school board accountable and demand that the dysfunction ends starting now. The board must hold Miles accountable moving forward, Miles must hold continue to hold principals accountable, and they’ll hold teachers accountable.

Let’s get through three months of relatively normality, and then we’ll see about trying anything fancier than that.

2. Mayor Mike says he’ll back the marriage-equality resolution.
Again, it’s hard for me to argue with the mayor here. He rightly saw this resolution from Scott Griggs as a (smart) political gambit, and he thinks it’s not the place of the city council to take an official stance on all matters of public discussion. That said, sometimes you get put in a position where you have to, and so, as the mayor realized, it’s better to admit defeat, make your stance known and move on.

Bonus: a columnist breaking news at the DMN! Have the old rules against this been lifted? I sure hope so.

3. More support for Patrick Kennedy’s highway removal plan.
Great piece on Medium outlining why Kennedy’s plan makes so much sense from an urban planning standpoint. (Cue the pavement-loving nut jobs who like to link walkability to UN plots to take over America.)

4. Gordon Keith graduated high school.
And he wrote a column about it, which you should read. Good life lessons. If that isn’t profane enough, here’s another stab at a grad speech with real-world wisdom by the great Drew Magary.

5. D Magazine editor steps down as part of complicated one-player trade.
When I came back to Dallas from Atlanta, I told Jennifer Chininis, the editor of this fine site, that I wanted to start writing columns off the news, but I wasn’t sure where I’d put them (my own site, Medium.com, Tumblr, etc.). She suggested CultureMap, and I am forever thankful for her offer. This has been a ball.

Days before I started writing this column, my good friend/arch-nemesis, D Magazine editor Tim Rogers, wrote a blog post suggesting that I would quit this gig sooner rather than later. Left unsaid was that he immediately began recruiting me (sounds nicer than “begging me”) to write for his magazine.

After six months, I finally acquiesced, on the condition that he step down as editor. Now that this has occurred, I become D Magazine’s city columnist, beginning with the July issue. This would not have happened without the kind, lovely and whip-smart Jennifer letting me opt out of my 15-year contract, and for that I’m grateful.

Best to her and CultureMap. Thanks all, and please keep supporting local people who type words.

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DISD superintendent Mike Miles
Mike Miles needs seven weeks of detention: "That's another one right now! I've got you for the rest of your natural born life if you don't watch your step! You want another one?" Photo courtesy of DISD
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings
Mayor Mike Rawlings will back the marriage-equality resolution, because he's personally for it and professionally backed into a corner. Photo courtesy of Mike Rawlings for Mayor